The European Reconciliation Package is a unique policy document, as it covers the entire European Union, as well applies a systemic approach to the complex issue of work-life balance, to both its related challenges and possible solutions. It is the main policy outcome of the 2014 Year of Reconciling Work and Family Life in Europe.
Over the past years COFACE observed an increased preoccupation of European families with the challenges of balancing their family life and work responsibilities. Increased childcare costs, limited places, long commutes, hectic schedules coupled with job-insecurities mean that working parents and carers are finding it increasingly difficult to find long-term solutions that serve the interest of all family members.
COFACE spent the past years cataloguing the problems faced by families, and analyzing and collecting inspiring practices and legal instruments at regional, national and EU level, as well as workplace solutions that work for all – not only working parents with small children.
This package highlights different policies and practices developed at local and national level that can support families in reconciling their work, family and care responsibilities. It reflects on the challenges and opportunities and presents recommendations of what needs to be done at EU and national level to empower families, and ultimately contributing to gender and pay equality, increased employment, improved childcareand care infrastructure and better well-being overall.
The European Reconciliation Package analyses four main areas:
Chapter 1: Reconciling for Carers
Chapter 2: Women at Work
Chapter 3: Reconciling at the Workplace
Chapter 4: Childcare, Education and Parenting
For each area, a legislative and policy background outlines the current situation and some recommendation are putting forward as well as a number of existing practices in Europe.
We hope this publication will inspire many policy makers, employers, legislators in improving the working conditions, legal environment and care solutions for families in Europe.
See also: ERP Recommendations